Juvenile handling is a federal and state regulated program that performs annual audits on police departments to make sure appropriate policies are followed.

A letter from the Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Judges' Commission was received at Monday's Corry City Council meeting to follow up on a recent audit of the city of Corry Police Department's juvenile handling program.

The letter from Seth Bloomquist, director of secure monitoring for the Center for Juvenile Justice Training and Research, states that no violations or problems requiring formal resolutions were identified during the site visit.

City of Corry Police Department was found to be in "full compliance with the core protections identified within the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 2002," the letter said.

Due to federal changes in wording for reciprocal state agreements on missing persons, Corry Police Chief Rich Shopene said he was notified during the audit of changes to handling policies, which he updated.

The policy went from only having to report to Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency juveniles that are held securely, which means in a cell or handcuffed to a stationary object, to back to the original reporting standard of over a decade ago, Shopene said.

"Now they are going back to wanting a report on all juveniles held," Shopene said. 

Reporting information includes juveniles held, when they were brought to the station, when they are placed in secured holding, when they are taken out of secured holding, when they are released and to whom they are released.

Juvenile handling policies were updated to include the handling of out of state runaways, missing juvenile runaways and missing persons. 

"Out of state runaways you are allowed to hold securely and you have to contact juvenile probation to have them placed until arrangements can be made for them for the parents to come pick them up," Shopene said. 

While those regulations for handling of out of state runaways have been in place for several years, Shopene said handling is now being scrutinized more closely due to sex trafficking.

Kirsten E. Kenyon, director of office of research, evaluation and strategic policy development for the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, said in an email that these audits are performed to ensure police departments are compliant with federal and state regulations regarding facilities that hold youth.

Shopene said some of the changes to state and federal policies don't always filter all the way down to police departments, and audits give the advantage of meeting face to face to review policies and updates.

This audit is one of many audits police departments go through on a revolving cycle, Shopene said.

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